March 1, 2022

NEAR in February: ETHDenver, Pagoda Launch, and More


The NEAR community did a lot in February: events, hackathons, launches, and even the Lunar New Year. If you blinked, you might have missed a number of exciting happenings within the NEAR community and throughout the ecosystem. 

So let’s take a look back at all of the activity across NEAR’s global nodes.

A NEAR Hóngbāo for the Lunar New Year

February kicked off in a celebratory mood with the Lunar New Year. On the 1st, many East and Southeast Asian countries celebrated a new year. On this day each year people exchange “hóngbāo”—red envelopes that contain money, given as gifts of good luck for important social occasions.  

This tradition has taken on a slightly new form in the digital era, with people in many Asian countries sending digital hóngbāo on messaging apps like Weibo or through online games. 

To take part in the Lunar New Year, and to show how easy it is to get into crypto, open a NEAR Wallet, and use NEAR-based apps, the NEAR Foundation offered celebratory drops. People could collect their hóngbāo at, then share it with friends and family to celebrate the year of the tiger. 

MetaBUILD 2 Hackathon Extended by Popular Demand

On December 22, NEAR Foundation announced the second edition of the MetaBUILD hackathon series, which features $1 million in prize money up for grabs from 35 sponsor challenges. Originally scheduled to end on February 10, NEAR Foundation extended MetaBUILD to February 2 to meet popular demand as well as to coincide with ETHDenver’s closing ceremony. 

NEAR Foundation extended MetaBUILD 2 again to March 8, to accommodate its growth from 300 participants at launch to nearly 4,000. This will give the sponsors and community the necessary time to judge the projects that came in before and during ETHDenver.

One of the most notable MetaBUILD 2 challenges is the privacy-preserving browser Brave’s bounty of $20,000 in BAT. The Brave team challenged MetaBUILD (and ETHDenver) hackers to create new methods of issuing game skins for the browser’s simple but fun Dino game. 

The NEAR community holds MetaBUILD hackathons for several reasons. The first is to introduce Web3 developers and non-blockchain users to the NEAR platform. On top of that, MetaBUILD is also a great opportunity to showcase how easy it is to build on NEAR’s hassle-free network, take advantage of its super fast transaction speeds, its global fiat on/off ramps, all while being sustainable, and carbon neutral. 

The NEAR Community at ETHDenver 2022

NEAR went to ETHDenver 2022. Why? Because the community believes in and is working toward a collaborative, decentralized, multi-chain ecosystem of Open Web and Metaverse platforms. Projects like Aurora and Rainbow Bridge, to take just two examples, are helping build simple and secure bridges between NEAR and Ethererum, which will go a long way in realizing a truly global network of open-source Web3 projects. 

For more on the NEAR Community’s talks, panels, and workshops, check out the NEAR at ETHDenver 2022 Highlights, and start learning to build at NEAR Education

Pagoda Launches First-Ever Web3 Startup Platform

At the ETHDenver opening ceremony, NEAR Co-Founder Illia Polosukhin announced the launch of Pagoda, the first-ever Web3 startup platform. Pagoda gives developers all the tools they need to build, create, and maintain Web3 applications on the NEAR blockchain, though it can also be used by dapps that use Aurora and Rainbow Bridge to connect NEAR and Ethereum. 

To hear Illia’s Pagoda announcement in its entirety, check out the Twitter Spaces recording. And be sure to check out Illia’s deep dive into Pagoda and Developer Console in the video below. 

NEAR Partners with Elliptic to Enhance On-Chain Security

Just after ETHDenver, NEAR Foundation announced a new partnership with Elliptic, the blockchain analytics and security company. What does this mean for the NEAR community? Both the NEAR blockchain and its native token $NEAR will have access to Elliptic’s class-leading blockchain analytics and financial crime monitoring services, which will help keep their dapps and users safe, and pave the way for mass adoption of Web3. 

“NEAR’s mission is to help onboard billions of users into Web3,” says NEAR Foundation CEO Marieke Flament. “We can’t do that unless we can create a safe and secure environment for people to explore this new world. Partnering with projects like Elliptic helps us realize this goal faster.”

For more details on the collaboration, read the NEAR x Elliptic partnership announcement

Looking Forward into March

The NEAR community has a lot of really exciting things in the works for March and beyond, from new dapps to events and more. 

Stay tuned to the latest NEAR news by joining the community accounts below. 

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